Apple User Groups: Making Communities a Little Bit Better

One attribute that seems to set Apple User Groups apart from other hobby clubs is community service. Most groups provide a way to make their community just a little bit better. And, they find a broad range of ways to help. For example:

  • The Charlotte Apple Computer Club offers Tech Learning Days at the Matthews Community Center at least once a month
  • The Village Macintosh User Group runs free New Users Help Classes on the first Tuesday of every month
  • CapMac has worked with their local school district to teach low income parents how to use Apple computers that were donated for home use
  • Mac User Groups dedicated to HAM radio often participate in Field Day disaster readiness drills
  • Washington Apple Pi offers informal Clubhouse Saturdays for troubleshooting and technical questions
  • MUG ONE and many other groups offer lending libraries
  • The Houston Area Apple User Group runs popular swap meets
  • And creative pro groups, including SF Cutter‘s Lynetta Freeman, post job opportunities in the industry and the Creative Pro community supports film festivals and events, including SuperMeets.

And, that is just the start. Does your user group offer community services or outreach efforts?

Check these out.


Events: Vintage Computer Festival Southeast 7.0

In 2015 multiple vintage computer user groups, including the Vintage Computer Festival, Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists, and the Vintage Computer Forum, joined forces and became the Vintage Computer Federation. They offer an online discussion forum, events, local user groups, and a bricks-and-mortar museum. As you might imagine, they are also a great resource for film/TV props, media interviews, research projects, data/drive recovery services, patent/prior art projects, and more.

Their Vintage Computer Festivals are held in multiple locations, including:

Their Pacific Northwest event was held in March, 2019.

Learn more>

Vintage Computer Federation

Meeting Ideas: Apple Card, Home Pod, and Apple News

Need a presentation for your group’s next meeting? Why not use ASW’s presentations to feature Apple Card, Home Pod, or Apple News as your meeting topic?

This month, take a look at “HomePod – First Look” (L574596A-en_US), “Apple Card – First Look” (L584137A-en_US), and “Apple News – First Look” (L542578A-en_US).

Ambassadors: April is a great month to check out ASW offerings.

Resources: Apple Support on Twitter

Want to learn new ways to use your Apple products? Apple Support on Twitter (@AppleSupport) offers tips, tricks, and helpful information when you need it most. From answering your questions to providing tips that increase productivity and enjoyment, there is something for every user. 

For example, in the last few days topics included enhancing your work-life balance via dual SIM support, more uses for Spotlight on your Mac, how to share an iCloud calendar, using Continuity to seamlessly connect your Apple devices, how to use “Hey Siri” on your AirPods, how to animate objects in Keynote for iPad, how to use Dictation to take notes without typing, and other useful information.

Ambassadors: Apple Support on Twitter is a great resource for helpful information.

Apple Support on Twitter


Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus: Why I Love User Groups

Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, Houston Chronicle Technology Columnist, Mac Observer iReviews Editor, author of nearly 60 books and one of the world’s leading experts on the Mac OS, delivered his annual “State of the Apple” address at the Houston Area Apple Users Group (HAAUG) on March 16th. 

In an article for the Mac Observer, he talks about why he joined a group and why user groups matter. It is a sweet read and a reminder of why Dr. Mac is so beloved.

Check it out!

March Featured Vendor: IRIS and Readiris Pro 17 for macOS

I.R.I.S. software has been around almost as long as the Macintosh, helping users reliably scan, recognize, convert, edit, and share digital files. In fact, they were one of the early pioneers in the field of optical character recognition. Where did the name come from? IRIS stands for Image Recognition Integrated Systems, and over the years IRIS has consistently offered solutions that align with their motto: Less Paper, More Content.

Today, thanks to their partners and customers worldwide, IRIS applications are used by hundreds of large companies and SMBs, and by over 40 million end users around the world, with more than 500 products sold daily. (more…)

Just-released iMac and iPads are a great meeting topic

When new Apple products come out, members always want to know what is new and amazing. They also want to know what has been changed, improved, removed, or retained from previous versions.

ASW has the answers that your members want in formats that make presentation easy. With iPad Pro – Then and Now (L550631A-en_US), iPad Air – Then and Now (L583891A-en_US), iPad mini – Then and Now (L583892A-en_US), and iMac – Then and Now (L519831A-en_US) published on March 19 you will have the most up-to-date information covering each of the newest releases.

Ambassadors: March is a great time to check out ASW presentations.

TCF: Trenton’s 44th Annual Computer Festival

User group members are invited to register for the 44th annual Trenton Computer Festival (TCF), the oldest computer festival in the world, scheduled for March 23, 2019, at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in Ewing, New Jersey. This year’s theme is Cyber Security and the list of speakers and workshops is amazing: a WordPress bootcamp, sessions on blockchain, cybercrime, 8bit game development, drones, Open VPN, building a HAM radio digital hotspot, Raspberry Pi, picking locks, election security, and …well, too many to list here. As you can see, the offerings are incredibly diverse and interesting.

TCF is not just another computer show. It was started by (and is still run by) computer hobbyist volunteers as a non-profit educational event and is sponsored by the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of TCNJ. Attendees can enjoy workshops, the ever-popular flea market, commercial exhibits, opportunities to meet and socialize, study for and take a HAM radio licensure, special exhibits, contests and more. While it is too late to buy tickets for the banquet, tickets for the event are available and only $14!

If you are in the area, this is a don’t miss event!


(Thanks to Elsa Travisano for the original tip about TCF)

KansasFest 2019: 31 Years of Enthusiasm and Fun

Mark Pelczarski of Penguin Software, well-known for numerous graphics utilities, books, and games, will be this year’s Keynote speaker as KansasFest 2019 celebrates the 42nd anniversary of the Apple II in Kansas City, Missouri from July 16-21.

With hands-on workshops and so much more, there are experiences to be had and memories to be made at KansasFest. Meet new friends, learn new things, and remember the golden age of the Apple II. Take it from past attendees: You will be more than glad that you attended.

Check out a look at the 30th Kansas Fest, held in 2018


Apple Special Event March 25: Be There

Wish your group could attend the next Apple Special Event? Apple will be streaming the event on March 25, 2019, at 10 a.m. PDT from the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, so you can watch it from your location. The stream is best experienced on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using Safari on iOS 10 or later; a Mac using Safari on macOS Sierra 10.12 or later; or a PC using Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge. Of course, other platforms may also be able to access the stream using recent versions of Chrome or Firefox.

Be there.